Category: Media & Culture / September 19, 2013 2:35 PM EDT
People who expect the police to look after them when they are too drunk to look after themselves should instead be charged a fee.
A senior British police officer suggested on Wednesday (September 18) that private firms could provide places for people to sleep off the effects of too much alcohol, leaving the police free for other duties.
British police say people who drink so much that they incapacitate themselves could be presented with a bill to pay for being taken to what they call a "welfare center".
Local barber David James said the abundance of drunk people on the streets meant he had to protect his business with heavy metal shutters every night.
"People are sick all over the place, people weeing all over the place you know, and sick and spit. They look like animals, they don't really care for anything you know," he said.
A local bar owner said he thought it would be a good idea to introduce 'drunk tanks'.
"Well, it would probably encourage people not to cause trouble if they knew they were going to be locked up for the night. It will probably give people more respect," said Stephen Lewis.
As well as using up police time, alcohol is one of Britain's biggest health problems, responsible for 1.2 million hospital admissions in 2012, the government has said. It has been linked to heightened risk of liver damage, cancer, stroke and heart conditions.
Video Credit: Reuters